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Sweeney’s Booknotes: Edwardsian Scholarship After Jonathan Edwards

Oliver D. Crisp and Douglas A. Sweeney, eds., After Jonathan Edwards: The Courses of the New England Theology (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012).

Sorry for the shameless plug of my own new book. But in an effort to keep you informed of all new books on Jonathan Edwards, I need to note this one as well.

After Jonathan Edwards was conceived by Oliver Crisp. It offers state-of-the-art chapters by a bevy of first-rate scholars on the wide array of ways in which Edwardsian theology was appropriated after the death of Edwards. The usual topics and suspects are here, but so are some new and surprising themes, such as French and German views of Edwards (discussed by Mike McClymond) and Edwards’ legacies in Asia (by Anri Morimoto).

This is the volume about which we held a symposium back in January, featuring Anri Morimoto, David Kling, and Ken Minkema, with comments from Ava Chamberlain, Oliver and me. Click here for the recording:

The contents of the volume:

Introduction (Oliver D. Crisp and Douglas A. Sweeney)

New Light in the New World

  1. Jonathan Edwards, The New Divinity, and Cosmopolitan Calvinism (Mark Valeri)
  2. Jonathan Edwards on Education and his Educational Legacy (Kenneth P. Minkema)
  3. After Edwards: Original Sin and Freedom of the Will (Allen Guelzo)
  4. We Can If We Will: Regeneration and Benevolence (James P. Byrd)
  5. The Moral Government of God: Jonathan Edwards and Joseph Bellamy on the Atonement (Oliver D. Crisp)
  6. A Different Kind of Calvinism?: Edwardsianism Compared with Older Forms of Reformed Thought (Paul Helm)

Carrying the Torch

  1. Samuel Hopkins and Hopkinsianism (Peter Jauhiainen)
  2. Nathanael Emmons and the Decline of Edwardsian Theology (Gerald R. McDermott)
  3. Edwards in the Second Great Awakening: The New Divinity Contributions of Edward Dorr Griffin and Asahel Nettleton (David W. Kling)
  4. Taylorites and Tylerites (Douglas A. Sweeney)
  5. Edwards Amasa Park: The Last Edwardsian (Charles Phillips)

 Edwardsian Light Refracted

  1. The New England Theology in New England Congregationalism (Charles Hambrick-Stowe)
  2. Jonathan Edwards, Edwardsian Theologies, and the Presbyterians (Mark Noll)
  3. Great Admirers of the Transatlantic Divinity: Some Chapters in the Story of Baptist Edwardsianism (Michael A. G. Haykin)
  4. “A German Professor Dropping into the American Forests”: British, French, and German Views of Jonathan Edwards, 1758-1957 (Michael J. McClymond)
  5. An Edwardsian Lost and Found: The Legacy of Jonathan Edwards in Asia (Anri Morimoto)
  6. Before the Young, Restless, and Reformed: Edwards’s Appeal to Post World War II Evangelicals (D. G. Hart )

Postscript (Douglas A. Sweeney and Oliver D. Crisp)

The striking cover image of Edwards (meant to evoke the thought of Edwards’ spirit haunting the studies of far-flung theologians since his death) was sketched by Oliver Crisp himself, my much more talented co-conspirator.

We dedicated the volume “to Wilson Kimnach and Ken Minkema, facilitators of scholarship on Edwards and his legacies than which none greater have been conceived.” Fellow Edwards scholars know just what we mean.

–By Douglas Sweeney, Director of the JEC at TEDS

JEC at TEDS Hosting a Colloquium on Jonathan Edwards’ Global Legacies (Jan 6, 2012)

“The New England theology remains the most significant and enduring Christian theological school of thought to have originated in the United States. Yet today little is known about it beyond the circle of those with a professional interest in the scholarship associated with this movement. Even in this select group, one seldom finds anything like a complete understanding of the different phases of its life or the works of its main proponents. There has been scholarly work on the movement post mortem, but for much of the twentieth century that interest amounted to little more than a trickle of scholarly articles and several (important) monographs. It is only in the last quarter century that significant scholarly interest in these theologians has been rekindled. A clutch of important studies, and a collection of some of the most important writings from the movement have seen the light of day in this period, signalling a renewal of serious intellectual interest in the theologians of this movement.”

These words are taken from the introduction of a forthcoming book edited by Oliver D. Crisp and Douglas A. Sweeney, After Jonathan Edwards: The Courses of the New England Theology (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012). This volume offers a reassessment of the New England Theology in light of the work of Jonathan Edwards. In this volume scholars whose work has made important theological and philosophical contributions to our understanding of the thought and work of Edwards are brought together with scholars of New England theology and early American history to produce a cross-disciplinary symposium dealing with the ways in which New England Theology flourished, how themes in Edwards’ thought were taken up and changed by representatives of the school, and how it has had a lasting influence on the shape of American Christianity.

Based on this new book, the Jonathan Edwards Center at TEDS is presenting a panel discussion on “After Jonathan Edwards: The Courses of the New England Theology.” This JEC event will be part of the New Directions in Edwards Studies series.

The colloquium will include:

1. Moderator: Douglas A. Sweeney, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

2. Introductions: Oliver D. Crisp, Fuller Theological Seminary

3. “Jonathan Edwards and His Educational Legacy” by Kenneth P. Minkema, Yale University

4. “Edwards in the Second Great Awakening: The New Divinity Contributions of Edward Dorr Griffin and Asahel Nettleton” by David W. Kling, University of Miami

5. “An Edwardsean Lost and Found: The Legacy of Jonathan Edwards in Asia” by Anri Morimoto, International Christian University (Tokyo)

6. Initial response: Ava Chamberlain, Wright State University

7. Discussion with the audience

This event will be taking place on the campus of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School on Friday, Jan 6, 2012 at 3:00 pm (location TBA).